Kurt Taylor, founder and CEO of Wilmington-based Next Glass, turned up among Forbes’ 2015 list of “30 Under 30” in the food and drink category, published online Monday.
Taylor — at 26, among the youngest people profiled — was No. 29 on the magazine’s list of young food and alcoholic beverage entrepreneurs. Other list-makers were trend-setting chefs, innovative purveyors of wine and beer, techies who have streamlined food and drink delivery as well as restaurant reservations, ground-breaking food writers and farm-to-table advocates.
While he’s flattered to be on the list, Taylor said Tuesday that “It’s not about me, it’s about the team. Always about the team.”
Being included among the 30 Under 30, he added, places him in good company and helps build awareness for his startup.
“Forbes has such a powerful name, and it opens us up to their viewership. [Forbes] likes what we’re doing; getting that confirmation from them is good,” he said.
The Forbes writeup describes Next Glass as “a service that analyzes the chemical compounds in wine and beer to figure out what’s driving a person’s drink taste” and then “tells the user what wines and beers he likes,” based on information the user enters on the Next Glass app.
That app, which officially launched in November, got 250,000 downloads in its first three weeks in the Apple app store and is currently growing at a 100,000-downloads-per-week rate, according to Forbes.
“The download numbers have far exceeded our expectations,” Taylor said. “We’re collecting so much information on what [users] want to see [in the app]. We’re talking to our business partners to let them know what we are experiencing.”
Currently, Taylor and other Next Glass officials are traveling extensively between San Franciso and New York to promote the company. Taylor said that he anticipates a couple of television appearances – on MSNBC and possibly Fox – next week while he and other representatives are in New York.
Next Glass, with its labs located at University of North Carolina Wilmington’s MARBIONC Center and offices at Co-Worx in Barclay Commons, plans to move its operations into 11,000 square feet of renovated space in downtown Wilmington later this year.